I recently visited the doctor to try to figure out why I hadn't menstruated in over a year. I had had irregular periods for my whole life, but this was my first time not menstruating for so long. It began after I stopped taking birth control.
My results from my blood and Glucose Tolerance Test showed that I have slight hypothyroid, and what would appear to be reduced insulin sensitivity.
My testosterone levels were normal, and he said that the increased number of follicles he could see on my ovaries during the uterine ultrasound were "normal for someone who hasn't menstruated in so long."
My thyroid numbers were as such:
FT3: 2.07 (Normal range 2.30 - 4.00)
FT4: 0.87 (Normal range 0.90 - 1.70)
As it seems like I may have had some of the symptoms of hypothyroid for the past couple years or so, such as cold intolerance, water retention with consumption of salt or refined carbs, abnormal menstrual cycles, decreased libido, this seemed to make sense.
My doctor prescribed me a low dose of thyroid stimulant, Thyradin-S 25, and some medication to balance my hormones and trigger my period, which worked as desired.
My results from the blood glucose test showed that my fasting glucose and insulin levels were normal, but although my glucose levels continued in a normal pattern, my insulin level continued to rise throughout the two hours.
The numbers were as follows:
Fasting Glucose: 89
Glucose 1 hour after "cider": 137
Glucose 2 hours after "cider": 99
Fasting Insulin: 5.28
Insulin after 1 hour: 63.24
Insulin after 2 hours: 102.40
My doctor did not explain this very well, saying only that "Yep, it could lead to diabetes," that I should avoid processed foods, eat plenty of fiber, and stop drinking alcohol period ("Drink grape juice.") The second doctor I spoke to said that it was fine right now, but that, to avoid making it worse, I need to refrain from snacking between meals, start meals by eating the vegetable portion first, and that drinking was fine, but to avoid prolonged drinking sessions.
For a bit of information about myself.. I'm 22 years old, 5'6", and around 112 pounds. I've been living abroad in Japan for over 4 years now, and was a pretty steady 128-135 pounds for much of my teen years until I lost quite a bit of weight at around age 20, and spent about a year at 103-106 pounds. I dealt with disordered eating and exercise habits for a couple of years, and have finally been getting better. I eat what seems to be a fairly healthy, balanced diet, low on processed foods, and high on vegetables, seafood, meat, nuts, and fruits, with a fair amount of soy, and a couple squares of dark chocolate every day. For the past year, until recently, I have been having one or two glasses of wine, or 1 beer, on most days with dinner. I try to keep active by walking and the occasional hike.
I find myself sensitive to refined carbohydrates and sugar when I do eat them, often getting irritable and feel a loss of clarity/energy when I eat them without balancing them with fat or protein.
As I do not see many obvious problems in my current lifestyle, I am just not sure where these problems might be coming from. Whether it be related to my weight, rather high stress and sleeping trouble the past couple of years, PCOS?, or something else...?
I'm sorry that this is so long! It just seems like a number of things could be at play here...?
Thank you for reading! If anyone has any sort of idea what might be the source of this, and what would be a good approach to dealing with it, I would be incredibly thankful for any sort of feedback or response!
I was just curious as to your outcome with this. I too have not had a period in a year and a half and have increased water retention. My periods became irregular, I got off the pill and then suddenly, I gained 10-15 lbs. Haven't had a period, haven't had a sex drive and am at a complete loss. Really curious as to what medication your doctor put you on. My doctor is offering progesterone supplementation but I am weary of all drugs. Hope you're better!
I finally got an appointment with a doctor, so I'll be going in to talk about it in a couple of days. Did your periods become irregular before going off of the pill? The symptoms you described also all sound like symptoms that I've read can be caused by going off the pill, unless you are or have been underweight as well... I've noticed gaining a little weight has made me feel a lot better, but still no period.
I'm very weary of drugs as well, particularly as it sounds like many of these symptoms can be healed with diet and herbs once the cause is pinpointed.
I will be sure to post again to let you know what I find out!
Best of luck to you as well.
I went to a specialist the other day who said I "stumped" him. He's making me take more blood tests and thinks it could be a sick pituitary gland. Which he claims is extremely rare but has no idea as to the reasoning behind my lack of menstruation.
Yes before going off the pill, my period was irregular in the sense that I would get it twice a month. This was going on about a year. Then when I went off, it ceased completely.
What happened with your doctor?
Sorry it took me so long to get back! Ended up having to reschedule the appointment, and just got back today.
Unfortunately, my doctor didn't really have anything helpful to tell me either. Said that the thyroid/insulin issues weren't that big of a problem, ruled out polycystic ovary because I don't have any other symptoms, and just concluded that I was one of a growing group of women with mysterious disappearing periods.
She was pretty insistent on my choosing a method of progesterone supplementation, as well, and gave me a prescription for Provera, just in case, but I don't plan on filling it yet. Just seems like it would be fixing the symptom and not the problem...
I think I'm going to just continue eating and sleeping well, minimize stress, and see what happens in the next few months...
Have you learned anything else since your last post? I don't know much at all about the pituitary gland, but that's an interesting to hear.
Sorry that you're having to deal with this too. Totally frustrating!
Let me know if you make any headway! Sending good energy! :]